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16 day trip at Mauna Lani- looking for itinerary suggestions

The Pas, Canada
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16 day trip at Mauna Lani- looking for itinerary suggestions

My husband, 2 teenagers and I have booked a 16-night stay at Mauna Lani Hotel & Bungalows in March / April. First time in Hawaii. Looking to create an itinerary, booking excursions now if we need to, and looking for suggestions to make the trip special. We are celebrating a good outcome of a serious health condition, so we'd like the trip to go well without being over planned! Also want to rent a car, but don't know what a good balance would be for days without and days with a car - or should we have a car for the whole time. I have reduced mobility due to an accident, so my days of serious hiking are over - unlike my husband and kids. This is creating challenges in knowing what kinds of experiences we can have. We are budget-conscious but can splurge sensibly, and realize one gets what one pays for... Any advice would be most appreciated re: excursions, car rentals, restaurants, beach swimming, etc.

Big Island, Hawaii
Destination Expert
for Island of Hawaii
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1. Re: 16 day trip at Mauna Lani- looking for itinerary suggestions

Congratulations!

I would get a car the whole time, and the primary reason is flexibility. If it's windy up north or the ocean conditions aren't great you can head south or do a non-water activity. Also some days your boys might want to head out and you might want to stay put, but having the car lets you play it by ear a lot more and it be so scheduled. Also if you're staying at the hotel you're going to want to get out for meals because the hotel options aren't all that great, although I do like Napua at the beach club at Makaiwa Bay. Monstera at the Shops at the Mauna Lani is great. Otherwise, you'll want to branch out to Waimea, Waikoloa Beach, the Four Seasons, etc for more dining options.

Read through the Things to Do Top Question on the right hand side of the main Island of Hawaii forum, as well as the snorkeling TQ for descriptions of snorkeling spots. Two of the best ones are right on the ML property.

You might want to consider double booking a night in Volcano or taking a heli tour of VNP. I also really recommend the manta ray night snorkel.

Happy planning!

Canada
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2. Re: 16 day trip at Mauna Lani- looking for itinerary suggestions

Definitely a car the whole time you are on Island....not even a question .

While the Mauna Lani Hotel is a lovely property..I am not sure I would choose a hotel room for a 16 night staying with my spouse and 2 teenagers.

A condo provides close to triple the space, separate sleeping quarters, bathrooms etc. The availability of a kitchen is invaluable for quick snacks and refrigeration of beverages....even if you are not in cooking mode while on holiday.....not to mention a washer/dryer on a 16 night trip.Lets not forget free parking and internet.

You do mention the desire to remain somewhat budget conscious...a condo will allow you to realize some savings for both accommodations and the rather pricey dining out options for a family of 4.

First time to Hawaii may have you experiencing some"sticker shock"....

Seattle, Washington
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3. Re: 16 day trip at Mauna Lani- looking for itinerary suggestions

I agree with a condo over a hotel. Way more room and options for more relaxation. Mauna Lani offers so many options. Rental car is a must. If your family travels down to VNP go with them... there is enough to look at that you can wait for them to hike the crater. It is really quite unique and you wouldn't want to miss it. The Botantical Garden near Hilo is beautiful and they have a "golf" cart tram thing to get you back up from the bottom. Go slowly down...it is really amazing and most people move slowly to see all the beauty. It is steep so if you have a stabilzation device by all means bring it there. It is worth the effort.

Also remember in salt water you will be more bouyant so enjoy the water. Use a noodle to float with and enjoy. Bring a snorkel mask to peek a look under! Some of the best things in Hawaii are free and its a great place to move slowly!!! 16 days will be just what the doctor ordered for a great celebration.

LA
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4. Re: 16 day trip at Mauna Lani- looking for itinerary suggestions

16 nights is a long time in one hotel. It's even a long time for The Big Island.

I would have split the time with another island- maybe 11 nights Big Island, 5 nights other island, depending on your interests.

Maybe Kauai as the second island. They are very different. Kauai is 6million years old and The Big Island is a relative toddler at only 500,000 years old.

5. Re: 16 day trip at Mauna Lani- looking for itinerary suggestions

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